Lakers Would Be Foolish To Give Eric Bledsoe A Max Contract

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Eric Bledsoe was one of the prizes of this free agency class, but with training camp mere weeks away, he remains unsigned. Bledsoe wants a max contract, but the Suns have only offered him $48 million over 4 years and teams are afraid to make an offer to Bledsoe since the Suns have said they will match any offers.

Because of all this, it looks highly likely that Bledsoe will sign the Suns’ one-year qualifying offer, which will make him an unrestricted free agent. So next summer, when the Lakers once again will have max-level money, they could sign Bledsoe outright to a contract.

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And the Lakers would be crazy to give him that kind of money.

Maximum contracts are for the elite players in the NBA. The best of the best. Bledsoe has not proven to be that. Only six point guards have max-contracts right now: Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, John Wall, and Kyrie Irving most recently.

Whether or not all of these players have lived up to the contract after signing it, there is no argument that all of these players proved themselves for multiple seasons leading into their max deals:

Kyrie Irving
2013: 22.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.5 steals, 45.2% shooting, All-Star
2014: 20.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.5 steals, 43.0% shooting, All-Star

Chris Paul
2012: 19.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 9.1 assists, 2.5 steals, 47.8% shooting, 1st Team All-NBA, 1st Team All-Defense
2013: 16.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 9.7 assists, 2.4 steals, 48.1% shooting, 1st Team All-NBA, 1st Team All-Defense

Derrick Rose
2010: 20.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 0.7 steals, 48.9% shooting, All-Star
2011: 25.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, 7.7 assists, 1.0 steals, 44.5% shooting, NBA MVP, 1st Team All-NBA

John Wall
2012: 16.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 8.0 assists, 1.4 steals, 42.3% shooting
2013: 18.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 7.6 assists, 1.3 steals, 44.1% shooting

Russell Westbrook
2011: 21.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 8.2 assists, 1.9 steals, 44.2% shooting, 2nd Team All-NBA, All-Star
2012: 23.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.7 steals, 45.7% shooting, 2nd Team All-NBA, All-Star

Deron Williams
2011: 20.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 10.3 assists, 1.2 steals, 43.9% shooting, All-Star
2012: 21.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 8.7 assists, 1.2 steals, 40.7% shooting, All-Star

The only player not to make an All-Star game before receiving the contract was Wall. However, the Wizards had three seasons with Wall starting every game he played to know that he was a point guard and the leader of their team.

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